Explanation of Vote on a Third Committee Resolution on Durban

Anthony Bestafka-Cruz
U.S. Adviser to the Third Committee
New York, New York
November 17, 2022


Thank you, Chair.

The deeply rooted legacies of racism and racial discrimination run deep and span centuries. We recognize multiple vulnerabilities facing members of marginalized racial and ethnic communities globally, including Indigenous peoples and people of African descent.

The United States is profoundly committed to eliminating racial discrimination and combatting racism, xenophobia, and all other forms of intolerance at home and abroad. In August, the United States presented its most recent periodic report to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva. The report highlighted many actions and measures taken across our entire government to address racial and ethnic discrimination in the United States. We believe the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination provides comprehensive protections to address all forms of racial discrimination. It is the strongest multilateral agreement in this area.

The United States issued a standing invitation to all thematic Special Procedures mandate holders in October 2021. We welcomed the observations from the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues’ report on his visit to the United States in November 2021, and we remain dedicated to making tangible progress. As part of our commitment to seeking real progress for marginalized racial and ethnic communities, we are pleased to share that we have extended an invitation to both the International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Equality and Justice in Law Enforcement and the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent to visit the United States in a few months.

As in previous years, we deeply regret that we cannot support this resolution. We are concerned by the resolution’s unreserved endorsement of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA), which contains specific elements that we consider to be antisemitic in applying double standards that single out the State of Israel and endorses overbroad restrictions on freedom of expression. In light of these concerns, we cannot support the full implementation of the DDPA.

For these reasons, we will vote against this resolution.

Thank you.